Our purpose at Here is: Exceptional care, for everyone. But what does it really mean? Rich Taunt our Lead non executive director explains more.
How much meaning can you cram into four words? This paragraph is already well past a dozen and hasn’t really said anything. But that’s the challenge with our purpose at Here:
Exceptional care, for everyone. What does it really mean?
Let’s rewind. Simply put, an organisation’s purpose is a single sentence which defines why an organisation exists. It should be aspirational, always just over the horizon, and a call to action worthy of people running through walls to achieve it.
As an organisation built on a strong sense of values, having a ‘good’ purpose isn’t an optional extra for Here, it’s the bedrock of all we do. We’ve just been through a process to refine what our purpose is; less a case of choosing a new purpose, but finding a better way to describe what it was all along.
‘Exceptional care, for everyone’ sounds relatively straightforward, perhaps even a bit motherhood and apple pie. Who wouldn’t want that? But scratch the surface and there’s five (at least) different ideas going on.
1. Exceptional – as aspiration for all we do
Our purpose is to not settle for anything less than the highest quality for those we work for. We’re not interested in maintaining the status quo, we want to find new ways to help people do things they’ve never been able to do before. That’s why the heart of our work is reinvention: of care, of pathways, of roles, in order to reach for something which is as good as it possibly can be.
2. Exceptional – as the organisation we want to be
We are firmly a not-for-profit, values-run organisation. We are not however an NHS organisation, and neither do we wish to be. Being a social enterprise means we have freedoms to do things a bit differently, not least in how we run our organisation. But these freedoms bring responsibility to use them. In our eyes, being an ‘ok’ social enterprise would be a missed opportunity. Put another way, we’re going big or going home: exceptional, or we’d rather not be here at all.
3. Care – personalised to those who need it
While we dream big, we start from a place of humility. We think the experience of care is as important as the clinical end-result. And this means that we have to listen, to understand, to tailor all that we do to those whom we work with. ‘Personalisation’ is a bit jargony, but what it really means is that we are here to help the individual person, not a cookie-cutter representation as to who we think they might be.
4. For everyone – as inclusion
We care deeply about social justice, about reducing inequalities in society not just in health. We don’t want our work just to be exceptional for some, but for everyone regardless of where they are coming from. This is challenging for many of us working across health, including us, and far from easy. While we are deeply proud of what we do now, we realise we have a long way to go.
5. For everyone – for ourselves as well as others
As an organisation we are a provider of care. But that’s not just to patients and citizens, but also to each other. Part of our DNA is to embrace a different way of working to the traditional norm, one in which the wellness of our people, and their ability to individually flourish, is an unshakable priority. We know this is the best way to deliver exceptional care to our patients, but it’s far more than that. It’s a commitment to the world which we want to live in, the way we believe all organisations should work, and everyone should be treated.
So there we are. Exceptional care, for everyone. Four words. Huge meaning. Lots of work for us to do.
Rich Taunt, Lead Non Executive Director
Rich works with Board colleagues to support the organisation to be the best it can be. This includes a focus on how colleagues across Here can make good decisions to enable us to meet our purpose.
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